Steven Gerrard: I was close to joining Real Madrid

Steven Gerrard: I was close to joining Real Madrid


Former England captain Steven Gerrard has said he was close to joining Real Madrid in 2009 but ultimately chose to stay at his boyhood club Liverpool.

The 35-year-old left Anfield this summer for the MLS where he signed for LA Galaxy. But in his autobiography, which is being serialised by the Daily Mail, the combative midfielder said he had plenty of opportunities to move during his career.

It is well known that he came close to moving to Chelsea during Jose Mourinho’s first stint in charge at Stamford Bridge. And he has now written about how tempted he was to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“When I was playing my best football, probably in 2006 and even in 2009, there were some big chances to leave: Chelsea again; Real Madrid twice — and the second time was more tempting because, once more, Mourinho wanted me,” he wrote.

And he continued: “Playing for Jose in the white shirt of Real Madrid, at the Bernabeu? Only Liverpool could have made me say ‘no’ again.”

In another section of the book, Gerrard also criticised Rafa Benitez for his decision to sell Xabi Alonso to Los Blancos calling the decision ‘stupid’. He also discussed his own relationship with the now Real boss, and said he believed Benitez didn’t like him despite the pair being successful at Anfield.

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Experienced journalist and online marketing professional. Most of his journalism career has been spent at the Press Association, the UK’s leading news agency, covering a wide range of topics including finance, general news, travel, sport and technology. He has also worked as a sports reporter for Non League Today and as a property reporter for the trade press in London. He is a regular contributor on a number of blogs about sports and marketing.